Living in St. Augustine means long, humid summers and mild but occasionally stormy winters. In this climate, a heat pump offers many advantages as a solution to your year-round comfort requirements: it provides effective air conditioning during the hot weather, and energy-efficient heat for the shorter cold weather season.
If you know something about how a heat pump operates, then you’ll know that it uses a chemical compound known as refrigerant. We’ll explain in this post why a heat pump needs something called “refrigerant” even when it is in heating mode.
If you are thinking of having a heat pump installed, or if you need heat pump maintenance and repairs in St. Augustine, FL, contact Climate Masters for quality service today.
Refrigerant and your heat pump
Refrigerant is a generic term for the mixture of chemicals that allows for the heat pump to move heat from one location to another, which is called heat exchange. In the earliest days of air conditioners, refrigerant was often a toxic or combustible chemical like ammonia or methyl chloride. Modern heat pumps and ACs use safer compounds (known as “blends”); the most common blend in use today is R401A, which has no ozone depletion issues.
Refrigerant changes easily between being a liquid and a gas, which is why it is useful for heat exchange in a heat pump. As the refrigerant flows through a heat pump, moving from the outdoor to the indoor coils, it absorbs and releases heat as it switches from a liquid to a gas. During heating mode for a heat pump, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the outdoors (evaporation) and then releases it indoors (condensation). A compressor serves as the “motor” for the refrigerant, compressing it into a high temperature gas at the beginning of the heat exchange cycle.
Refrigerant remains at a fixed level inside a heat pump. The process of evaporation and condensation does not use it up. However, leaks can develop in the compressor or along the refrigerant line, causing the level of refrigerant (its “charge”) to drop. This will adversely affect the heating and cooling capability of the heat pump. It requires a professional to seal the leak and recharge the refrigerant.
If you have trouble with a heat pump that is either struggling with heating or cooling, than a refrigerant leak may be the issue. Call on repair experts like Climate Masters to handle it. We can attend to any troubles that might pop up in your heat pump in St. Augustine, FL, anyS time of the day or night.